Posted 11/02/2022

Career success for trainee at Swan/NU living's modular housing factory

This National Apprenticeship Week (7 - 13 February), we caught up with one of our recent trainees at our modular housing factory, George Crudginton. George has recently completed his training at Swan’s modular housing factory via the government-backed ‘Kick Start’ scheme that provides funding to employers to create jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit.

Following a successful six months training at the factory, George impressed the team so much that he has secured a permanent position as a Multi-Skilled Operative. Here’s what he had to say about his journey as a trainee so far:

How did you get onto the Kick Start scheme?

Before beginning the Kick Start scheme, I was a football coach, but I was looking for my next career move. I attended my local job centre where my work coach suggested that I may want to consider the Kick Start scheme as a pathway to a new career. Swan / NU living, partnered with The STC Group, were able to offer me a place on the scheme.

What have you learned since being on your training?

Before I joined the Kick Start scheme, I had zero experience in construction. The training scheme started with six weeks of pre-training and during which I learned some of the practical skills in college. As part of these six weeks, I spent three of them on work experience in the Swan/NU living factory for a taster of what I could expect. My six months training on the job then started in August 2021. During these six months, I learnt as much as I possibly could while shadowing the teams on each work station in the factory. I was taught skills such as tiling, carpentry, plaster boarding, painting and decorating and metal work.

What did you most enjoy about your training at the factory?

I’ve always loved learning new skills and this type of training gave me the opportunity to learn a little bit of everything, which was great. I soaked up as much information as possible from each of the teams so I could decide what area I wanted to specialise in while still having the option of helping on other trade work.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role as a Multi-Skilled Operative?

I am looking forward to specialising in one area, which will be metal work on internal walls, but I also like that I will still be able to help across the entire factory floor. It gives some diversity to my day.

What’s your next steps?

I’m always looking to develop my skills and I’d like to gain further qualifications (such as dry lining) while training on the job. This will enable me to apply for a Construction Skills Certificate Scheme card for future work. The Kick Start scheme and training at Swan/NU living’s modular housing factory has given me a job that I have a lot of passion for and a clear career path. I’m looking forward to starting my new, permanent role with the team!